Demonstrators against saturation of tourism hit the streets of south Tenerife
Almost a dozen social and environmental groups called a demonstration for this morning at 11:30am (Saturday) in the municipality of Arona in the south of Tenerife, protesting against the saturation of tourism demanding the application of a tourist moratorium, an eco-tax, and a new residence law.
Under the slogans “The Canaries are no longer a paradise” and “The Canaries are not for sale” the demonstrators met in the seafront car park in Las Americas by CC Metropolis, to march along the promenade to Plaza La Pescadora in Los Cristianos.
The protestors claim that the island "is completely collapsed, with a coast full of sewage spills (more than 200), kilometre long traffic jams, and destruction of the environment due to the construction of new hotel complexes in coastal areas”.
Regarding the moratorium, they say that their objective is to reduce hotel occupancy and to prohibit the construction of more tourist complexes. A spokesperson said: "Mass tourism has destroyed numerous natural spaces throughout the archipelago, and caused the degradation of many others due to the unsustainable pressure exerted by the 13 million tourists who visit the islands each year."
In the case of southern Tenerife, they added, "The cetacean population suffers chronic stress due to the great tourist pressure in the area. This type of tourism causes irreparable damage to the natural and cultural heritage of the Canary Islands, therefore, to ensure the conservation of these unique values, a moratorium is proposed, followed by a reduction plan, in order to be able to bet on quality tourism, to contribute to the conservation of the archipelago and not the opposite, which is what is happening today”.
Regarding the ecotax, they explain that it would be applied to all tourists who visit the islands and that the proceeds would be used "only" for the protection, conservation, and regeneration of the natural spaces of the archipelago.
Among some measures that are proposed is a considerable increase in environmental surveillance, the regeneration of degraded natural spaces, or creating ecological corridors that connect natural spaces with each other, "since this is the only way to protect biodiversity effectively."
Overpopulation - an environmental threat
Regarding the residence law, they claim that overpopulation is a major environmental threat for the Canary Islands, and is leading a large part of the archipelago to a situation of depletion of resources and, therefore, causing a social crisis.
Along these lines, they said that “the destruction of the territory, the increase in housing prices, and the scarcity of resources are some of its most notable consequences, so if the resident population continues to grow uncontrollably, this situation will be increasingly serious and unsustainable".
“We need to limit the number of people who come to live here and the number of people who purchase a second home. Increasing the population does not make any ecological or social sense."
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